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Comparison of 'Valentine' by Duffy and 'Sonnet 43' by Browning watch

    • Thread Starter

    Could someone perhaps grade this piece of work and give some constructive criticism on how to improve/ what should I improve on or change?

    In the poem ‘Sonnet 43’, the language the poet has chosen construct a positive, loving tone to the poem. Language choices such as “love”, which is repeated ten times across the sonnet, serve as a reminder to the reader of the poet’s intention: to openly declare her love for her husband. This is particularly important, as at the time, being a poet, and an open, forthright one, was very uncommon for women. The same element of love is also present in ‘Valentine’ by Duffy; in the first line of the poem, it is clear that the speaker in this poem wishes to reject modern symbols of love and romance. Sentence inversion is used effectively to focus our attention on the word ‘Not’ as the speaker informs their lover that the Valentine’s gift they bring will not be ‘a red rose or a Satin heart.’ This pattern is repeated later in the poem which highlights the need the speaker feels to avoid the hollow symbols typically associated with Valentine’s. This rejection highlights the idea that these gifts have become meaningless and so common that they no longer signify genuine affection. Both poems signify love and affection but ‘Valentine’ conveys this message through more unconventional means by using the imagery of an onion.

    However, Duffy also uses smilies to portray the negative sides of a realtionship’…blind you with tears like a lover‘. The onion is compared to a lover and the way love often leaves us in tears. A large part of being in love is also the risk of being left heart-broken. This connection is explored in the way an onion stings when we try to get to the ‘heart’ of it (cut it), the same way we may be stung by another person’s heartlessness. Whereas Brownings uses more traditional and normalised means to illustrate the love she feels for the subject of the poem; in this case she is writing for her husband as this was written to her lover prior to their marriage. The use of the term “soul” is particularly endearing, as the soul is the only part of a person said to be eternal. Here the poet is suggesting that like her soul, her love for her husband also has no end. Through these language choices, Browning’s sonnet opening and without any shadow of a doubt, illustrates a clear and passionate love. Both poems highlight the importance of love and have an underlying affectionate tone towards another person flowing through out the text but Duffy brings the more negative aspects of a relationship to light whereas Browning focuses more on the emotions she feels for her partner.

    This isn't even you own work- you copied it from the TES resource.
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